Chilly temps and dry indoor heat will leave you with rough,
flaky skin if you don't step up the hydration ASAP. Here's
how to prep your skin to handle the coming months.
Stop scaly arms and legs by making a few tweaks to your routine. Take warm (not hot) showers or baths, and use a rich body wash. As soon as you turn off the shower or step out of the tub, slather on a hydrating lotion formulated for wet skin. "The best way to bind water to your skin is to moisturize while your skin is still damp," says Dendy Engelman, M.D., a NYC-based dermatologist.
Exposure to the elements dries out your complexion and makes it more sensitive, so sneak in extra hydration during your daily cleansing and moisturizing steps. An oil-based cleanser gently removes dirt and makeup without stripping your skin. Next, layer a serum with hyaluronic acid underneath your regular face cream. "Hyaluronic acid is a super-humectant," says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a dermatologist based in NYC. "It draws in water to the outer skin layer, providing a major moisture boost."
Although flu season and frequent handwashing are inevitable, raw, cracked skin doesn't have to be. Soaps with harsh detergents and alcohol-based sanitizers are very drying, so opt for a gentle, creamy cleanser. After washing, always apply hand cream. The best formulas coat the hands like a glove to prevent water loss and protect against irritation, Zeichner says.
Try Excipial Daily Protection Hand Cream ($10, amazon.com)
No need to forgo pedicures just because it's boot season -- your soles still need regular TLC. However, go easy with exfoliating tools. You don't want to weaken the skin, which, Engelman says, leaves it vulnerable to infection and irritation. A cream containing urea safely smooths and softens rough, tough calluses.
Try Eucerin Intensive Repair Extra-Enriched Foot Creme ($5.50, amazon.com)